09 December 2011


The plumber was here ALL DAY yesterday. Sigh. It took that long to get the shower repaired and to empty and clean out the water heater. I think Walt is going to write about it all. The bill is going to be salé, as they say in France — "salty", meaning "excessive" like a dish you've put too much salt in.

And it's not over yet. The plumber, Monsieur Rougemont ("Mr. Redmountain") will come back Monday to finish the job. He has to replace some pipes around the water heater. When he unhooked everything yesterday and installed a new pressure regulator, he noticed that there are some old cast iron pipes that are nearly filled up with corrosion and lime deposits. We're also having new faucets installed on our bathroom sink and the little "hand-washing" sink in the WC room.

Rain. That's the forecast again this weekend. Temperatures are very mild, and yesterday was actually a pretty day. I had a good walk with Callie in the afternoon, and she didn't try to run away.

Touraine is right next to the left shoulder of the weatherman,
Laurent Romejko, who is a neighbor of CHM's in Paris.

By the way, Monsieur Rougemont said he had done some plumbing work for the neighbors across the street about three weeks ago. What made him mention it was that Bertie the black cat came into the utility room while Rougemont was working on the water heater. Is that your cat? he asked. Yes, I told him. Well your neighbors hate him, he said, and when I was over there I got an earful.

Afternoon temperatures around 12ºC (mid-50s F)

He said he wasn't likely to accept any more work from those neighbors of ours, because they are too hard to please. They want everything to happen immediately, they complain about the prices, and then they take forever to settle up. None of that surprises me. I'm detecting a pattern.

Leftovers for lunch a couple of days ago...

ig decision of the day? Gratin dauphinois or pommes de terre à la boulangère for lunch? The two potato dishes are similar, but dauphinois is cooked with garlic, cream, and milk, where boulangère is cooked with onions, herbs, and broth. Both are thinly sliced (a.k.a. scalloped) potatoes cooked in the oven.

I'm leaning toward the broth version, because we're having a grilled duck breast with it, and I'm not sure duck and cream are such a happy combination. And I have some good chicken broth in the freezer. I think I'll take some pictures as I go. Spending the morning in the kitchen will be a good way to occupy myself as December rain blows in from up Normandy way.


  1. Good plan. I'm planning to do fartichokes boulangere this evening. Maybe I'll do duck too, since you've put the thought into my head. Our kitchen tiles are being grouted today, so cooking in the oven is the best option if I don't just want to reheat something in the microwave.

  2. Labour is not cheap!!! At the moment we are going through the export of our car and each place we go to hands us yet another bill!!
    Still thinking about what I will cook today :) Diane

  3. Yikes. All day plus a return visit is never good when it comes to plumbers :))

    But, it's good to get that stuff taken care of -- we have some cast iron pipes left at the old house and they are all clogged up.

  4. i hate to tell u how much i spent to mail some of our family xmas ornaments to daughter & son in law in paris.....yikes
    we are in the process of getting estimates on winterizing our house in the nc mntns and whew.....$$$.....my husband wants it all to happen without spending any $$ however!

  5. Est-ce que CHM joue au " les chiffres et les lettres" ?
    I am running for cover - just couldn't resist :-)

    Regarding the neighbours, I guess it is not Bertie who is the trouble maker and the plumber has confirmed it .

  6. Every time I see Laurent Romejko talking about the weather or on "Des Chiffres et Des Lettres", he reminds me of Richard Earl Thomas, a.k.a. John-Boy Walton.

    Jean and I made 'Pommes de Terres à la Boulangère' recently and they were delicious...that would be my vote!

  7. I don't know if CHM watches « Des Chiffres et des Lettres », but I've been watching it on and off for 40 years. Laurent Romejko started hosting it more recently than that! However, I see on Wikipedia that he is getting close to 50 years old (born 1963).

    One day a few years ago Walt and I were a few steps from CHM's Paris apartment building and we saw Laurent R. coming out of a side street holding the hand of a little girl. I assume it was his daughter, and she was probably being walked home from school. The two of them went into a modern apartment building right across the street, so I assume Romejko and his family live there.


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